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Levi Thaxter & Sons Family Gravesite
KITTERY POINT, ME
 
Levi Thaxter
Though they never divorced, the separate lives of artists Celia Thaxter and Levi Thaxter intrigue us even today. Raised in the isolation of White Island at the Isles of Shoals , Celia married Levi Lincoln Thaxter when she was 16 and he 30. Levi was then her tutor and business partner of her father Thomas Laighton. But they were from two very different worlds, even in death.
 
Celia is buried with her parents and two brothers, Oscar and Cedric, in the family plot on Appledore, the island where she spent much of her adult life. Levi and their three sons -- John, Roland and Karl -- are buried at Kittery Point in Maine. By the time they purchased the 186-acre Champernowne property at Kittery Point, Celia and Levi had largely gone their separate ways, emotionally at least. She had become one of the nation' most popular poets. Levi, always in search of a career, was best known for his readings of poetry by Robert Browning.
 

Levi Thaxter died in 1884, ten years before his wife. In tribute, Robert Browning penned an original epitaph.After dozens of visits to Celia's famous Isles, we finally made our way to Levi's resting place. The burying ground of the First Congregational Church stands at a 90 degree turn in Pepperrell Road that hugs the river. The old Thaxter home, the church and the well known Lady Pepperell House are still here.
 
Robert Browning
Levi, Karl and Roland are buried under overhanging trees in an area toward the river, their stones now broken and difficult to read. The Browning epitaph has been reprinted into a bronze tablet affixed to Levi Thaxter's tombstone. The poem reads:
 
BROWNING TO LEVI THAXTER
"Thou whom these eyes saw never:
Say friends true who say my soul,
Helped onward by my song,
Thou all unwittingly, has helped thee too.
I gave ofbut the little that I knew:
How were the gift required,
While along life's path I race.
Coulldst Thou make weakness strong:
Help me with knowledge --
For life's old, death's new."
 
 
THE OLD BURYING GROUND
Pepperrell Road, Kittery Point, Maine


Kittery Cemetery

  First Congregational Church, Kittery Point, ME

Kittery Cemetery

The Old Burying Ground on the Piscataqua.
Levi's grave is in the far right corner.

Kittery Cemetery

Levi Lincoln Thaxter and son Roland (Randall)

Kittery Cemetery

Levi's gravestone with the Browning epthaph plaque

CONTINUE TOUR of Celia Thaxter Family Graves

Disposable images and text by J. Dennis Robinson
Thaxter family images couresty Peter E. Randall, Publisher
Copyright 2001 SeacoastNH.com. All rights reserved.


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